The first audio recordings on Mars reveal a quiet planet with occasional gusts of wind wherever two different speeds of sound would have a delayed impact on hearing, scientists said Friday.
After NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars in February last year, its 2 microphones started recording, permitting scientists to listen to what it’s like on the red planet for the first time.
In a study revealed within the Nature journal on Fri, the scientists gave their initial analysis of the 5 hours of sound picked up by Perseverance’s microphones.
The audio disclosed antecedently unknown turbulence on Mars, said Sylvestre Maurice, the study’s main author and scientific co-director of the shoebox-sized SuperCam mounted on the rover’s mast that has the main microphone.
The international team listened to flights by the little Ingenuity helicopter, a sister craft to Perseverance, and detected the rover’s optical maser zap rocks to check their chemical composition—which created a “clack-clack” sound, Maurice told AFP.
Hear What acquainted Earth Sounds Would Be Like on Mars
The study confirmed for the first time that the speed of sound is slower on Mars, traveling at 240 meters per second, compared to Earth’s 340 meters per second.
This had been expected as a result of Mars’ atmosphere being 95 % carbon dioxide—compared to Earth’s 0.04 percent—and is regarding a hundred times thinner, creating sound 20 decibels weaker, the study said.
But the scientists were shocked once the sound created by the laser took 250 meters a second—10 meters quicker than expected.
“I panic-struck,” Maurice said. “I told myself that one, in each of the 2 measurements was wrong as a result of on Earth you simply have one speed of sound.”